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Teachability: An Invitation to Empty Your Cup and Grow

Be teachable - teachability

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation, convinced that you have all the answers, only to realize later that your cup was already full, leaving no room for new insights? It's a common human tendency—to enter into situations with a thirst for learning, yet unknowingly barricaded behind the walls of our own knowledge and beliefs.

Consider the story of a university professor who sought wisdom from a renowned Zen master. As the professor prattled on about Zen, the master quietly poured tea into his cup, overflowing it. Perplexed, the professor exclaimed, "It's full! No more will go in!" To which the master sagely replied, "This is you. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"


What does being “teachable” mean?

Teachability, simply put, is the ongoing willingness and openness to learn.

Being teachable means listening more than you talk and preach, being open to other people’s ideas, being open to change and new lessons and doing things differently. Being teachable involves coming to the table with an empty glass…willing to fill it with new knowledge even when you think you have mastered it all. It involves a little humility and being vulnerable; admitting that you don’t know everything.

Admittedly, sometimes, that is really hard to do...

Just recently I had an experience that shed some light on that. I was introduced to some concepts that, truth be told, were somewhat familiar to me but because I was unwilling to implement them, I was also unwilling to delve deeper into learning them, thinking I knew better. My a-ha moment was when I realized that the person teaching and implementing these concepts had achieved what I wanted to achieve. I was being unteachable and it showed in my results. It was time to come to the table with an empty cup.

Here are five ways to cultivate teachability personally and professionally:

Active listening and teachability
  1. Active Listening: Practice the art of active listening by fully engaging with others during meetings, presentations, or discussions. Instead of merely waiting for your turn to speak, focus on understanding the perspectives of others. Ask clarifying questions, paraphrase what you've heard, and demonstrate genuine interest in their ideas. By listening attentively, you open yourself up to new insights and opportunities for learning.

  2. Seek Feedback: Don't shy away from feedback; actively seek it out. Whether it's from colleagues, mentors, or clients, constructive feedback provides valuable insights into your strengths and areas for improvement. Cultivate a mindset that views feedback as a gift rather than criticism. Actively solicit feedback on your projects, presentations, or business strategies, and use it as a springboard for growth and development.

  3. Embrace Diversity of Thought: Recognize that innovation thrives in environments where diverse perspectives are valued. Surround yourself with individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise areas. Encourage open dialogue and debate within your team, welcoming alternative viewpoints and challenging the status quo. By embracing diversity of thought, you foster creativity, resilience, and adaptability within your life and your business.

  4. Continual Learning: Commit to lifelong learning and professional development. Stay informed about industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices relevant to your field. Dedicate time each week to reading industry publications, attending webinars, or enrolling in courses that expand your knowledge base. By investing in your own learning journey, you position yourself as a proactive and adaptable leader in an ever-evolving business landscape.

  5. Practice Humility: Cultivate a humble attitude that acknowledges your limitations and embraces the expertise of others. Recognize that no one has all the answers, and there's always room for growth and improvement. Be willing to admit when you don't know something and seek guidance from those with more experience or expertise. By humbly acknowledging your own vulnerabilities, you create an environment where learning flourishes, fostering collaboration, innovation, and success in all your endeavours.

When you cease to be “teachable”, that’s when you stop growing, when you get stuck and when you fail to be a good leader.

My suggestion to you is to commit yourself to ongoing learning. Listen to coaches and mentors. Be open to new ideas. Come to the table with an empty cup. When you do this, it will be filled over and over again with a wealth of ideas and knowledge that you can put into practice and share with the world.

To your success and outrageous goals,


P.S I am everywhere. Here are some other places I hangout. Would love to connect!

PPS. Click the image below to learn more about the system that changed my life. (or feel free to message me directly)

Be teachable Feel Great System


1 comentário

Samra Saeed
Samra Saeed
26 de fev.

Always a great read! Cant wait for your next post :)

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